Employers ask for a lot of things - cover letters, salary histories, desired salary, first-born son…the list goes on. But do you have to comply with all those requests, every single time?
Salary negotiations with top performers are a pivotal time in the hiring process. As an employer, it’s easy to forget that the candidate is not yet one of your employees. You can create or destroy trust, and set the tone for your entire employment relationship by how skillfully you negotiate salary. Sadly, salary negotiations are also where hiring managers risk snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Job seekers now have access to credible salary information, so you need to assume they know the market for their skills as well, or better than the hiring manager.
Do your palms start to sweat when you think about asking for a raise? What about when you have to negotiate salary on a job offer? How do you know what salary to ask for? What are other employers paying for someone with your skills?
When you are asking for a raise, or applying for a new job, it's often helpful to know the typical pay rate for your job function and geographic location. Some employers choose to pay a bit above or below the "going rate", but it's helpful to have a base line. Salary.com has done a nice job branding themselves as a good resources for job seekers, but can you rely on it?
Recently, I wrote about how to discuss your salary requirements in a cover letter. A reader emailed me because he was regularly encountering the “desired salary” question even when he applied for positions online. He said, “All the consulting jobs I'm applying for now have a required box in the application page in which only accepts a numeric response to the ’Salary Desired’ question. I don't want to be hemmed in by a number for which I'm by definition going to low ball---but I also want the job. Any advice?”
A reader emailed me to ask, “What should I do when a job advertisement asks for my salary requirements?” She had not even been selected for an interview, and yet here they were, asking her to submit this personal information before she would even be considered.
Client emails me and says "Hey, I want to offer the job to Kathy, but I only have her salary on her past two jobs, can you get her salary from the company before that? That would be helpful to arrive at a fair compensation package for both her and us."
A recent post focused on how you should follow your natural skills and interests to land your next job. But even though you shouldn't choose your job based on money, it is interesting to see which industries are doing well (and paying well!) in this still-grim economy - especially relevant during this holiday season.